Tuesday, September 27, 2005

is the week over yet?


this sweatshirt is inside out.

that could mean i took it off before bed two nights ago, in which case there's nothing wrong with wearing it today.

or it could mean that i took it off when i woke up in the morning and tossed it over the chair in the mad rush for the shower, in which case, it would be cruel to my fellow human beings to wear it again unwashed.


smells ok.

can't smell anything anyway. stupid spoiled tradition soup.

if i had worn it to sleep, it would have a smear of toothpaste on the right sleeve from when i wiped my mouth on it after i brushed my teeth in the morning.

if there's no smear, i took it off at night intending to save it.

let's see.

no smear.

oh wait. wrong sleeve.

nope, no smear. perfectly good.

my G-d, am i the only person in this dorm who knows how to change a toilet roll spindle?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

the future of jewish rock and roll, the fight for the dry cleaning

you know, i was very curious about this concert being held for hurricane katrina. it wasn't spoken so much of here at stern, aside from the posters, but the poc purported (har) to be very good friends with the bands and vouched for their musicality, so i came. and of course there is the deja vu factor. that could have been my father, i kept thinking, glancing at the posters in the hallways. that could have been my dad's band. in homestarese, i had to see how it all went down.

so i talked my roommate into going up to yu with me to check out the concert.

thus was the girl contingent of the audience formed.

to be honest, there weren't that many guys either. the poc says this was apparently anticipated; blue fringe cancelled, these guys aren't big name bands, etc. the bands were omek hadavar and another band. but i thought this was ny, the bustling city of jewish music; so i was expecting, at a college event, come on, half the school to come. at least people.

i can count most of the attendees on one hand. me, shifra, the president of stern student council, the poc, the poc's friends daniel and josh, and a few other guys. plus the one man who organized the event, and his girlfriend. rows and rows of empty chairs. thirty to forty people, i think.

i always thought my dad's concerts were small because they were in milwaukee. now i imagine he must have been used to it even then.

anyway, the acoustics were terrible, but the first band, omek hadeebor, really made the best of a bad situation anyway. i can't say that they are musical anomolies, but they do have a nice, cool sound...lots of reverb, lots of ringing notes. before my father can interject, not u2...they were not rock at all. very lush, heavy on piano and chili pepper/coldplay chords. the drummer had more than one kind of beat, they had timing, they had a certain atmospheric grace and harmony...i actually enjoyed them very much, as did shifra. even though the bass player was absent (somewhere my father is banging his head on the keyboard). omek hadavar, folks. vote for them.

the second band was a little too ai-yai-yai-yai for me. heavy on minor acoustic guitar chords and lots of strumming, and the singer's voice didn't do it for me personally...it grated too much with the jangly guitars. they did have one surprisingly cool song, or bits of it, in english, but overall, they impressed me less than the first band. to be fair i was not paying attention most of the time. you see, there this was this one social butterfly of a stoner providing bountiful distractions. he was so clearly on something it was almost hysterical. he loved every song and requested songs they hadn't even written, moshing up front to a slow, sad ballad. me and my friends were just looking at each other like, ok! sure!

at that point the concert, in all its glory, wound to a close, which is where i found out that-- surprise! -- the girlfriend of the guy who arranged it is my famed charlotte! my radio friend from before yu, who gave me all the contact info. she is extremely sweet and i was glad to meet her and rather surprised to find her in person. she recognized me by my hair and shirt.

shifra and a friend of the poc had the brilliant idea of touring the scary campus of yu in an attempt to make it less scary (actually, this was my brilliant idea, but i am feeling generous). this was the truly fun part. the poc has a very distinct sense of what is important about yu. for example, he glossed over the classroom buildings and the dorm rooms with a kind of cursory, 'there are just classrooms in here,' or 'that's where i live' or 'oh yeah, there's the park.' but he diligently pointed out every drug dealer and brothel in disguise. 'and if you think they're really selling what it says on the sign...'

and then we came to the bane of the poc's existence, the dry cleaner.

i suppose this story requires some backup, and ideally, i would have the poc tell it to you. but even thinking about working that out gives me a headache, so i'll just tell it to you loosely. the poc has dry cleaner woes. he takes his shirts there to get them pressed for shabbos etc bkz it is like 1 75 a shirt, which is a hell of a lot less than where i live. but there is a fundamental problem with this:

they crack his buttons.

apparently every time he goes to pick up his shirts, more of the buttons have been split in two, so he can't even sew them back on (or have his mom sew them back on). he watches helplessly as one by one his shirts are debuttonized. finally this afternoon, he went to pick up his shirt, and they told him they couldn't find it at all.

now the poc is not an agressive person, but there is only so much abuse a person in need of shirts can take.

so after various threats at and unimpressed shrugs from the woman behind the counter, the poc managed to get in the back for a search-and-rescue mission of his shirt. which was a white shirt, undistinguishable, one would think, from any other white shirt.

boy, i thought i was going to tell you this loosely, and it is becoming an Epic.

well whatever. i already spent this much time on it.

keep in mind that me and the poc have been plotting to overtake the dry cleaner for almost a week now.

anyway, to make a long story short, when the poc finally found his shirt, it was crumpled up on the floor, stained and dirty and nowhere near being done for shabbos. this was the straw that broke the camel's back. er, the poc. through his extreme powers of persuasion, he got a free dry cleaning for his shirt. but we both agree that this was not nearly compensation enough, especially taking into account the mental anguish of the cracked buttons. thus the above picture of the poc vowing revenge upon the dry cleaner.

then i came home and munched upon multi-grain cheerios.

ok, seriously, i think that is it. my roommates are all abandoning me. i miss shifra already and she's still here singing at the top of her lungs. but the poc is coming for shabbos, so at the very least, we will see how the shirt turned out. plus, he has promised to get me actual food here on shabbos. through his tremendous powers of bribery and persuasion. so, i have some hope of actually getting fed and milldy entertained this shabbos. really, that is all i ask.

cause next week...i will be home.

oh yeah! i got my radio show! tune in on thursdays at eight, seven central - wwww.wyur.org! i play cool music! er, at least, i plan to G-d willing.

oh doctor

well, the poc dined aboard the uss intrepid last night with the rich and the fabulously wealthy. for free. yu's 75th anniversary dinner. he gave a course by course layout which included fine meats and carving stations, chinese, lamb (or perhaps that is a fine meat), pies, chocolate mousse, fondue, vegetables, and somebody personally rolling something in front of your very eyes.

morally bankrupt politicians.

i on the other hand had what i later realized was somebody else's half-eaten salad (for which i of course paid full price).

but it was still cool inasmuch as i got to wander around manhattan instead of listening to stuffy speeches. manhattan at night is obscene. i was walking under the chrysler building and someone had rolled out a red carpet, and i saw women in ball gowns-- honest to G-d ball gowns -- getting out of a limousine, and lots of flashes from photographers, and real butlers with the bow tie and everything. and gentlemen rushing past me to get to the action with pressed folded handkerchiefs in their tuxedo pockets.

or perhaps they are not handkerchiefs but something else for which i have forgotten the term, and you are all rolling at my country bumpkinness.


oh also the girl in my archeology class is the sister of blue fringe. i mean that her brother is the bass player. so now i am a celebrity. (less than six degrees, you know).

other than that, last night was club fair. i signed up for the Midwest Club (which is not run by midwesterners. unless you count new jersey.) also the cosmic woman, which promised me broadway plays, and the bikur cholim/chessed one, and...because of shifra....chabad. and poetry on the roof, which i have a feeling i am going to hate because i will think it is pretentious. it really is hysterical. i love to write poetry so long as i'm never around when any is read.

tonight is the hurricane katrina benefit concert, which is going to be a huge huge deal, tons of people, at yu. the poc knows most of the bands and he's vouched for at least two of them, so i have kind of high hopes. i'm trying to talk shifra into coming with me. she is going home for shabbos. again. will i never cease to be abandoned?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

why you should never attempt to explain anything to my brothers

poc: my brother's doing very well at wits.
me: that's good.
poc: yeah. apparently, a certain somebody's brother has been spreading it around the yeshiva that a certain somebody is good friends with his older brother. who is by the way the dean of yu.
me: ...
poc: he's really popular now.

all i can say is, and i quote: WH-AT?!

oh further updates: lost the student coucil election, sort of blew the radio audition. they said i can still be the falafel go-getter. i think i might get a show anyhow because they said i have cool music, and i know how to use the equipment so i can produce. on the bright side, if you're looking for a colorful splash of poster to light up your living room, have i got a deal for you!

so while i was getting lost at yu i also checked out the campus a little. it was an extremely humbling experience. their school building looks like the tower of mordor or whatever that is in the lord of the rings. it looks positively evil.

but the shuttle was cool.

Monday, September 19, 2005


at long last i have stumbled upon a supermarket on thirty-fifth and third, and i bought crispix! no longer shall i drag myself out of bed in the morning at an ungodly hour to rush down to the caf to eat a tiny little packet of frosty flakes or a mammoth danish! i have my own cereal! and my own milk!

the only downside is, i have a thing of coupons in my purse that feels like it belongs to somebody else.

this smiley has a straight line for a mouth

feeling strange. before my father can accuse me of negativity: not bad, or upset. just slightly bemused. i have no idea where the rest of the semester will take me.

sunday we all went to great adventure. i say all, i mean the freshmen, i suppose. i spent the whole day with the arcade king (henceforth the parent of the chair, or the poc) and my roommate, who are both extreme roller coaster freaks. they had their own scale of one to ten, on which the scream machine was a...6? the scream machine? some people are born with stomachs of steel.

but i went on every single roller coaster they did and did not chicken out once. nor did i puke or anything. admittedly i did some name calling. knowing people's middle names comes in extremely handy when you find yourself hurtling down about 500 ft at 120 mph (as the poc helpfully pointed out over and over) on your stomach.

altogether it was probably the most fun i've ever had at an amusement park (somewhere my mom is outraged). i believe my favorite part was the water ride. we spent pretty much the whole time attempting to shield all four of the poc's cell phones (which look like calculators and ring more or less every five minutes) with our bodies, and i think that induced the most terror, too.

on the bus ride home, my roommate fell asleep on my shoulder, and i was half-asleep myself, when this feeling of strangeness hit me. my roommate is moving out next week. she is the only one i have finally gotten comfortable around, and she won't be here when i come home anymore. i know it sounds absurd, how attached i get to people in three weeks of knowing them, but when life is so abnormal, it's the consistincies, the people who you can talk to about the little things, that keep you moving. my father says that if i trust people so completely i'm bound to get hurt or disappointed, but i honestly don't see how else i can cope. it is very well to do your own thing. but coming to this city, i have forgotten what my own thing is. i haven't written a line since i got here, and i can't even remember what i used to dream about.

it's my life. i'm not used to that. i am so good at making up lives for other people i really have no idea what to do with my own.

so the roommate is moving out, and the poc i will apparently be seeing very seldomly. orientation is over, so there aren't many activities where the two campuses do stuff together, especially because the student councils apparently don't get along so well this year. even if they did, he's a very busy person (and that's without eating or sleeping). i'm sure i'll run into him now and then, but still. they're two of my favorite people in the college and i won't see either of them that much anymore. puts a damper on your whatsit, your monday.

i think mondays are purely theoretical. good mondays, doubly so.

so that is the reason for my detachment. today is student elections. it is also the day of my audition at the radio, of which my roommate has just commented that my program sounds like an english assignment. joy. i don't know, i sort of wanted to use songs to tell a story...just lining them up in such a way that if you listened, it would be like some kind of musical plot line. however, apparently (Gasp), not everyone thinks the way i do, and i fear i do sound like an english teacher when i attempt to explain myself. i'll have to think more on the dreaded shuttle. i really am scared about going up there by myself. i've never been uptown before.

but hey, at least i keep myself busy, right?

i think the station manager will be there. she's cool. she'll tell me what to do.

tomorrow night is the meeting for next edition of the newspaper; i had a humor column in last edition's, which is what i have decided to call it in a desperate attempt to grant it some dignity. it was actually more like, 'hey new york, you're wack because you don't sell crispix. sincerely, an out of towner.' but what can you do?

the poc also says there is a debate going on tomorrow, but i don't know where. i'll look into that, maybe. it sounds interesting.

for the rents who fear i am evading school work, i am also writing a paper for wednesday. there. that was as interesting as chalk.

as for the rest...eh, shabbos. it was alright. i guess one just gets depressed when they are pinned in the corner of the room between the table and the wall, while various girls explain to each other who they're marrying and why. there is no escape. there is no food. it wears on you.

btw, for those of you who think, like my father, that i am brooding through college and having a miserable time, i am NOT having a miserable time. geez, weren't you the people who so encouraging before i left? 'oh, freshman year is awful.' 'oh, you'll get so homesick you won't be able to sleep at night!' 'nobody likes freshman year!' it's not that i'm miserable. but the only time i write blog entries is when i have to talk through what i'm worrying about, and i have precious few confidantes. so you get dumped on. what can you do.

ok i'll admit today's entry is coming out bleak.

my roommate is homesick and also regular sick at the moment. she's asleep right now, but i wish there was more i could do for her. i know it's not my place, but i'm a little concerned about the people i like here. they don't eat and they don't sleep. some one should form a comittee. they'll hate me forever if i act like their mother, but man, sometimes i have to sit on my hands...

ok, signing off....

Friday, September 16, 2005

you know it must be thursday when

i felt like arthur dent yesterday.

i'm not going to lie and say my life usually makes sense, but last night was the night from a poorly written episode of seinfeld.

for starters, i woke up in the morning wondering how many hours i could be awake before i could go back to sleep. it wasn't that i stayed up so late the night before; it's just that for me, 'not so late' has become something like two. i just never manage to get to sleep before two-thirty, and strange as it seems, i never manage to sleep longer than seven.

usually i function pretty well, but yesterday i was a walking talking zombie. and you had to pay extra for the walking part. i staggered through my classes without time for food, eventually reaching desperate heights at a quarter to two and running down the stairs to grab a danish in the five minutes between classes. then, i found myself in archeology class. there is nothing more confusing than coming to in archeology class. trust me on this.

my archeology teacher talks and looks exactly like my high school biology teacher. so you had all that deja vu stuff phasing in and out.

then i wanted to take supper home with me so i wouldnt have to go out again at night and could just crash into my bed. but as soon as i got to the caf, it closed. when i went to the other caf, it was also closed. since i have not a dollar to my name, i just went home and went to sleep. at five. i never do that.

further confused by flyers promising free food at a sy syms convention, i picked myself up at seven-thirty to go get food. i also hoped my friend would be there. but my friend wasn't there, and the food was gone by the time i got there. i went home mystified.

i did some aerobics and decided to go to sleep.

FIRE DRILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yes, that's right. at a quarter to one in the morning. THIS IS A FIRE DRILL. EVACUATE THE BUILDING.

i was not even remotely dressed, nor was i remotely awake. but somehow i made it down eighteen flights of stairs in my pajamas. you know, the hot red pants with little x's and o's on them and my swimming skirt? girls would catch sight of me and laugh. i had to laugh too.

back up eighteen flights of stairs. when i got to the top, i noticed i was shaking.

ok, i thought, that's kind of frightening. perhaps i should really go to sleep.

about to get into bed-- the phone rings!

it's from home!

they wouldn't be calling me at this hour unless something awful happened, G-d forbid, G-d forbid. i pick up the phone, and it is my incredibly creative brother, moe.

'perel! you gotta help me!'

'is everyone ok? what are you doing home?'

'yes but i just blew the power for the whole house! so now i'm looking at the fuse box. which switch do i pull?'

can my life get any more surreal?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

the chair has claimed another victim!

inside sessions at The Support Group for People Who Have Been Attacked By Inflatable Furniture

alan: look, of course it is malignant. i would be malignant too if someone blew me up.

me: but you don't understand. look at it. it is glowering.

alan: now you're just imagining things.

me: it makes those little growling noises whenever i sit on it!

alan: it is crying in pain!

me: you're taking its side!

alan: i feel responsible! i've always felt like an older brother or a father to the poor air cushion...and i foolishly placed it in your care, and now it has known cruelty.

me: there were no instructions on the box!

alan: what would you have liked the instructions to say? 'inflate'?

me: Dear Valued Consumer.

alan: oh G-d.

me: Do Not Attempt To Blow Up This Chair With A Bicycle Pump.

me: A Generator However Is Overkill.

alan: you used a generator?

me: the bicycle pump wasn't working!

alan: listen that's abuse. that is uncalled for. poor, poor ducky...

me: poor ducky? look at it! it has come back from the dead! it is like frankenstein's monster!

alan: actually it looks kind of like the blamananche from monty python.

me: or a mushroom.

alan: yes...yes i suppose he does.


me: it eats my socks.

alan: no son of mine would do anything like that.

me: it's not what you think it is, alan. it has changed.

alan: noooooooooo

me: it has known fear. no longer is it the innocent piece of plastic you lovingly stole

alan: he was sheltered at the arcade. with the removable tattoos and the furry dice

me: and now

alan: and now you have destroyed him. and i am responsible

me: a black mark on your political record

me: of course the question now is

me: what should we do about it

alan: it? it?

alan: the chair has a name!

me: listen i refuse to think of that malignant sock eating blamanche as a definite article!

alan: haven't you abused him long enough? he is only plastic! treat him with respect!

me: it blew up in my face!

alan: that wasn't his idea!

me: ok mr civil rights leader

me: i repeat

me: what are you going to do about it

alan: excellent question

alan: like so many civil rights leaders these days

alan: not a whole lot

i am telling you, this is what gets me through the week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

why you should vote for me

Monday, September 12, 2005

meet the crew

ok, at long last the digital camera appears to be in working order, and really, it's high time i introduced y'all to the gang. so, without further ado, and with illustrations, if i can figure it out (dr. bean - clears throat):

this is the view out my door room window - always entertaining. on a really great day you can count the police cars lining up across the street. once i saw them kick in the door to the baskin robbins. apparently, no criminals. or is that just a really stylish way to ACTUALLY GET SERVED?

ok, moving on.

this is my cool roommate, shifra. or should i say, my ex-roommate. she is moving down to the seventh floor. without her, i will be bereft and alone in the study hall. but she has made up her mind, so no hard feelings. except this one: DON'T LEAVE ME!

let's see...who else. ah yes. i must tell you the story of ducky.

this is me and the Arcade King and ducky. what transpired was that alan here was apparently blessed as a child with a father like mine who loves videogames. consequently he spent most of his youth becoming very very good at arcade games. so you would think he would win a lot of tickets.

which he did, hence the title, but unfortunately, not nearly as many as those who just gambled it all on slot machines. so we did not have enough to get the inflatable chair (henceforth Ducky) that i wanted for my apartment. we could have easily walked away with, say, a pair of really neat dice, but as i pointed out, that would suck. so we gave up trying to be dignified and spent a good half hour or so groveling from his friends, who had only enough tickets to extend from here to the sun.

anyway, to make a long story short, at the end of the night, he was extremely kind and let me keep the chair, bought mostly off of his dignity (i got minus five hundred points at laser tag. i am not exaggerating. well, yes i am. it was -493. at least he got like 25.)

which i promptly took home and exploded.

poor inflatable chairs. they just don't have a chance.

this is mikey at what is, i feel, his finest hour. all seriousness aside, however, this is a guy who, when someone leaped out at us with a knife in the House of Wax, politely tapped him on the shoulder, waited for the puzzled 'huh'? and then asked, 'so these are some pretty good hours you're working here i imagine, huh? and the commute's not bad at all.' 'no. not at all, hardly.' 'do you fill out applications to work here in the lobby?' 'ah yes. downstairs.' 'i see. and do you think...'

people in desperate need of fear had to negotiate their way around us.

before we leave mikey, let us also mention that he is also the one Who Nearly Survived An Entire Karaoke Rendition of YMCA Without Fleeing The Stage.

these guys are fun. i have spent most of orientation laughing at them.

other characters and proper documentation will be added to the site as i find time to whip a camera out at them when they least expect it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

what i spend my time doing

1) picking the 80s pop riffs out of shiney-shoe jewish store music

(at eichlers)

rabbi behind counter: listen, if you wanted already a melachim with commentaries in it, ok, then you shoulda called in special. now in the meantime, i got a very nice tanach here, you can have the whole thing. or, you could go down to flatbush. or, if you just wanna wait, we can have it for you tonight at like seven o'clock. or,....

me (in my head): huh...that sounds like...is that...no, it can't be...but... my G-d, it is! it's the flute solo from I Come From The Land Down Under!

2) searching for mythical restaurants

me (mumbling to self): 33rd, she said. between 5th and broadway, she said. yeeeessss. 33rd. hmmm. i've already walked 33rd down to the river and back again past times square. maybe i heard her wrong. maybe she said 31st...i guess i could always try walking that down...or maybe she meant between sixth and seventh...or maybe...wait! another stern girl! well, the other eight didn't know, but-- she has a shopping bag in her hand. she must know where it is. excuse me, do you know how to get to circa's?

girl) actually, i've been looking for it for the past two hours. i heard it was on thirty third and broadway.

me) ah! i heard it was BETWEEN broadway and fifth!

girl) no, i looked there. but BENNY says...

me) benny?

girl) yeah. he's the guy over there asking the man for directions.

me) oh, are you eating with him?

girl) no. i ran into him about forty-five minutes ago. he's been looking for circa's since about ten-thirty this morning and he feels he's making real progress.

me) of course there are those that never make it.

girl) how long have you been out here?

me) twelve-fifteen.

girl) well that's only an hour and fifteen minutes. count yourself lucky, hun.

me) we haven't found it yet.

girl) no, but it looks like benny found some girls who know where they're going.

benny) hey, do you guys know how to get to circa's?

girls) actually, we're going there right now.

me) praise the L-rd.

girls) we heard it was on seventh and the corner of forty-fifth.

((at a quarter to five))

girl) well, that was pretty depressing. we must have walked past it sixty times.

benny) it's not my fault they changed the name. we did find it in the end.

me) yeah, and it only took fourteen of us.


me) the pasta was good, but it was not worth seven seventy-five.

girl) well, for five and a half hours, i kind of expected more.

benny) well, i heard there's this really great ice cream joint....

3) watching the elevator pass my floor

me (in head): 14...15....16....17...it's gotta stop. it HAS to stop. there is no one else in the friggin' DORM.


ok well it will stop on the way down.





this is ridiculous.

ok well that elevator is wacked, but the other one will come.

no. way.

ok, i will not spend the years of my youth waiting for the elevator. i'll just dash down the stairs.

(as the stairwell door clicks behind me) DING!

4) attempting to restring my guitar.

we shall not dwell on this.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

shabbos at the dorm

not so hot.

no, i'm serious. it was surprisingly underwhelming.

not all of it is anyone's fault. i would have to say the highlight is entirely due to my own weakness. during friday night dinner, for some reason, i ended up at the back table, and for some other reason, we got served about an hour after we sat down. for an hour or so i had no soup, no kneidl, nothing but some lame challah roll, and i was starving, because it was already nine thirty. i thought i was doing pretty well, talking-wise, talking to the girls across from me, all juniors. i had gotten lost on the way to shul and had a fairly good time with that and my floormate, we'll call her lonny. lonny was feeling very homesick for her mother (she's an only child), i was trying to make her feel better, with negligible success. and then one of the juniors goes to me, 'so this must be your first shabbos away from home, huh?' and i, ms. oh-everything-will-be-fine-lonny, completely lost it. in the blink of an eye. one minute i was fine and the next minute i was weeping away. in front of everyone. it was humiliating. and i wanted to assure the now concerned people that i was fine, so i tried to make it look like i was laughing, which just made them even more concerned, probably now for my sanity. so that was pretty awful. i kept thinking of my last letter from my father too and it just wasn't cool. i pulled myself together a few times and commenced crying again a few times, and by the time they served the soup i decided to just go home and read.

but lonny got up and said, 'i'll come with you, perel.'

i said, 'you don't have to do that. i don't want you to do that. you just got your soup served.'

she said, 'that's ok. i'm not so hungry.'

i just nodded because L-rd knows i didn't want to start crying again, especially now that the dean was making her way over to me, so we left.

when we got on the street, lonny grabbed me by the shoulders and gave me a big, big hug. which is not easy as she is an extremely tiny person.

and then we both stood there crying for a little bit.

and she said, 'perel, perel, we're gonna be fine. we'll get over it. everybody has to grow up sometime.'

after that there wasn't much to say. she was exhausted and her feet were killing her ('i only have to walk three blocks at home!') so she went to sleep. i went back to my room, planning to read some of my extremely good (really! checking out a book in ny is like trying to smuggle drugs over the border, but STILL, their selection is incredible!) books, but lucky for me, my roommates had turned all the lights in the room off. it was pitch black in there. my bathroom also has no windows, so with the light off, that meant i would not be using my bathroom. this is the point at which i thanked G-d for giving me the idea to leave the lights on in the study room across the hall from me, having suspected something like this was bound to happen.

in the end i went downstairs and played some games with the dorm counselors. one of whom is esther malka, who is my cousin's cousin. now to you that may sound like an uncle's grandfather (it did to me, when my aunt first suggested it), except that she reminds me so much of my cousin. i mean, it was weird. technically, she's not related to me at all, but i felt like i'd known her all my life because personality-wise and looks-wise, she is a lot like tzippy (tuesday's daughter). actually she reminded me a lot of tuesday, too, which is even weirder, as she's not blood-related.

ok i probably lost most of you there. suffice it to say, esther malka is probably mildly amused at all the things i presumed to know about her. moving on.

shabbos morning i did not get lost. if that counts as a bonus.

ok, i don't want to diss people. i really don't want to. but my roommates, without shifra here, are harder and harder for me to handle. they really like each other, and they don't like me. they have now started this interesting practice of pretending i do not exist. they talk through me, around me, and over my bed. they put their clothes on my bed. they come back at three in the morning and wake me up. they don't ask me before they invite their friends up and they don't even let me know they're coming. and they spent all shabbos afternoon complaining to each other that there was nothing to do and comparing clothing.

when they are not there, i am fine. absolutely fine.

but honestly! 'somebody should take our garbage out.' 'ugh. that's gross. i don't want to take out the garbage.' 'well somebody should!'

i'm not doing it again.

oh! i figured out who they are! they are- exactly!- sandy and tiffany from daria. one of them looks like she could be decent if she wanted to be...maybe i'll promote her to quinn some day. well, anyway. i feel bad, because i know you aren't supposed to think badly of them. but if you seem not to care what i think of you, even though i live with you, if you aren't even prepared to try, be warned. i am not nobody, and no matter how many boys you have on your waiting list, i will not kotow to you.

i want a single.

whoa! off topic!

ok...shabbos. turns out there's no eruv in manhattan. did you know that? i didn't. i got a wonderful head cold shabbos morning, maybe because i am so tired, but anyway, i was walking around with like six tissues up my sleeve. the dean gently took me aside and told me to drop them. i sneezed on her.

then she said, 'boy, you had a rough night last night, didn't you?' and i had half a mind to sneeze on her again and go, 'allergies!'

the shul was not bad for a new york shul. it was small as anything, but the congregation seemed into most of davening. we did mincha in twelve minutes flat though. f express to 164th st, boarding now!

they had kiddush, which basically was an amalgamation of everything my grandma rose has ever served me ('oh, you like the green cake? the cocosh cake? i got more in the freezer!')it looked good, there was no breakfast, and i desperately did not want to starve, so i ate everything. that was bad. let's see if i can remember: one piece of cake, honey dew, one of each kind of cookies, plus all the crumbs i could find. this was basically my dinner too. which was good, because guess what we had for lunch and dinner? more challah rolls! and some cholent! it was like wits all over again. (if kovi ever reads this- hah!)

oh, what are they calling him nowadays? moe? bruce?

well anyway. so i sat next to one of the sophomores at lunch who hugged me last night- she's an actress, an author and a very good story teller all wrapped into one. she is also a very strong believer in Women's Rights in Judiasm, as i later found out. she feels our Role should change, and that we have been Belittled for the past Five Thousand Years. i do not want to hurt her feelings, although i already have, simply by not agreeing with her. ok, admittedly, i was too surprised to remember to be pc at first. and i should have been. she seems just quirky and humorous enough to be someone i could be good friends with.

i am a little unsure, though. she reminds me of a friend i had here, in high school.

well anyway.

after climbing and unclimbing and reclimbing eighteen flights, i spent the rest of shabbos reading and listening to my roommates talk about cute boys in israel and how not to get caught for being underage.

and that i think was the disappointing thing. this was orientation shabbos, the Shabbos Not To Miss. where were the shiurim? where was the shabbos spirit? one of the rabbis gave a dvar Torah after lunch and he would joke every five minutes that we only had to suffer through his speech for one more thing before we got to leave. i know i'm not usually a fan of long speeches, but his speech was not that long. we didn't sing anything, we didn't...look at what a hypocrite i've become. i was talking to my father and he pointed out that i have been on the other side of these conversations more than once. but honestly, where is the excitement here? where is the feeling that shabbos is a special thing?

i really like the dean, and i really like the rabbi who talked...he was funny as anything, and he could have taught at my school. but at times it seems like some people are only using the jewish aspects of yu as a cover up...an excuse to party in manhattan. this wasn't even a co-ed shabbaton. ugh. i can't wait for bubbe to get here...i can't even wait to spend shabbos with my other grandparents, even though i imagine that will be a little awkward with just me and grandma. i see now how important chicken soup and family is on shabbos. it's just not friday night without it.

but you know what?

despite everything...everything...i really think it was worth it for me to spend this shabbos in the dorm, just to learn what i have about my floormate, lonny.

no matter how many unpleasant people i have perhaps yet to meet, i hope that i will never forget nor cease to be amazed by the amount of love and kindness one person was capable of showing some random girl of four hours' aquaintance.